How Do Oceanic Plateaus Form? Clues From Drilling at Shatsky Rise



[1] Oceanic plateaus are huge basaltic constructions whose eruptions may briefly outstrip even global mid-ocean ridge magma production. Although they form great undersea mountains, their origins are poorly understood. A widely accepted explanation is that oceanic plateaus are built by massive eruptions from the head of nascent thermal mantle plumes that rise from deep in the mantle to the surface [e.g., Duncan and Richards, 1991]. An alternative is that plateaus erupt by decompression melting of fusible patches in the upper mantle at plate edges or zones of extension [Foulger, 2007].


This report is based on research done on board the D/V JOIDES Resolution by the Expedition 324 science party, which includes Renat Almeev, Atsushi Ando, Claire Carvallo, Adélie Delacour, Helen A. Evans, Andrew R. Greene, Amber C. Harris, Sandra Herrmann, Ken Heydolph, Naoto Hirano, Akira Ishikawa, Gerardo Iturrino, Moo-Hee Kang, Anthony A. P. Koppers, Sanzhong Li, Kate Littler, John J. Mahoney, Noritaka Matsubara, Masaya Miyoshi, David T. Murphy, James H. Natland, Masahiro Ooga, Julie Prytulak, Kenji Shimizu, Masako Tominaga, Mike Widdowson, and Stella C. Woodard. This research used samples and data provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.